Black Caucus got $500,000 for youth scholarships, but spent it on limos, luxury, and big party instead
Seems like we have some trouble brewing in New York! The caucus of black New York lawmakers who run a charity for "African American and Latino youth through education and leadership initiatives" by “providing opportunity to higher education" is under heavy criticism after being alleged to blow $500,000 on limos, luxury, and a massive party - but they were supposed to spend that money on youth scholarships. An investigation by the New York Post suggests they haven't contributed to scholarships in at least two years. Darn, what about the kids?
According to a report by the Daily Caller, the group was collecting money from companies such AT&T, the Real Estate Board of New York, Time Warner Cable, and CableVision. They told the companies, via promo materials, that they are "changing lives, one scholarship at a time."
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The group is called the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. They reportedly spent $500,000 during 2015-2016 "on items like food, limousines and rap music, the Post found. The politicians refused to divulge the charity’s 2017 tax filing to the Post despite federal requirements that charities do so upon request."
The group reportedly sells tickets to a big elaborate party each year with the goal to raise money for their mission and provide scholarships for the youth, but it seems like that money went to fun stuff instead of helping kids get through college.
Its chairman, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker of Brooklyn, claimed to have no knowledge of the charity’s failure to fulfill its mission. She told the Post through a spokesman that she “does not have any knowledge of the matter.” Walker is running to be the public advocate for New York City, its second-highest elected position and one tasked with investigating complaints.
Walker did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, which included a request that she share the charity’s latest tax filing.
The charity’s treasurer, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow of Westchester, expressed no knowledge of the charity’s activities.
“I just sign the checks they give me,” he said.
State. Sen. Leroy Comrie of Queens, the group’s number two, refused to come out when Post reporter Isabel Vincent stopped by his office. All of the politicians mentioned are Democrats.
“The real purpose (of the charity) is to bring people to get over their apathy and out to Albany and get motivated,” the charity’s former chairman, Assemblyman Nick Perry of Brooklyn, previously said.
I sure would like to sign those big checks, buy some limos, have a big party, and maybe even record a mix tape. But if I was getting donations for scholarships, then I'd make sure that money went towards the actual scholarships. In fact, why can't you do both? Just have more big parties for raising money and somehow make it all work in the end.
It's sad that a group would collect donations and not hand out a single scholarship in two years. That's just low and now people probably want their donation money back after hearing how it was wasted.
To make things worse for the company. "The charity gave $35,745 of its $564,677 in revenue to scholarships in the 2014 to 2015 fiscal year, according to the Post. That year, it spent $85,000 on a concert with Eric Benet and Regina Belle, and $157,000 on food, according to the Times-Union’s analysis of its tax filings. The group said that year it planned to double the number of scholarships it gave, but it didn’t happen. Its 2017 annual event featured the rap artist Big Daddy Kane."
So much for being for a good cause and just wasting the money.